SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - Flags lowered to half-staff Thursday, as the U.S. commemorates 1 million lives lost to COVID, a grim milestone that once felt unthinkable. Doctors say it’s more important than ever to test when feeling sick.
Penn Medicine’s Doctor Mike Cirigliano says at-home rapid antigen tests are the best bet to find out if a person has COIVID-19, especially as cases soar, again.
"I am literally seeing a higher number of patients in my practice than I ever have," Dr. Cirigliano stated.
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He says anyone displaying upper respiratory symptoms should definitely take a test.
At Philadelphia International Airport, travelers flying into the U.S. are required to have a negative test to enter. One man wound up missing his flight out of Heathrow Airport over the policy.
"I was told I didn’t have to have it, but when I got to the gate, they said I needed it," Stanley Wiseman explained. "Everybody in the area was like, what a shambles. What a mess."
Shahin Islam coming in from Cancun, tested at the resort before leaving and says it was as smooth as can be. "I think it’s necessary, you know?" Islam commented.
One couple expressed their unhappiness at paying $50 each to get tested, in order to fly home from Aruba. "Total rip off and a waste of time. It’s a money-maker, that’s it," said Maria Fronek, of the experience.
Dr. Mike says people are letting their guard down. He warns the pandemic is not over and this is just a different phase.
"Unless you want COVID-19, I’d wear a mask. I’d be cautious and just be careful about large crowds," Dr. Mike remarked.
Dr. Mike also encourages keeping at-home test kits on hand. Anyone experiencing symptoms, but test negative, may have something else.